Don't shave your legs! Really. You're asking for trouble!
I have to warn all of you about one seldom talked about danger of shaving your legs...
In the early 1980s, I was in my mid twenties, buff & toned, and a fast enough cyclist to stand a chance in local races. Naturally, to gain acceptance from the Bike Powers That Be, (or Were) I made sure that my legs were as smooth as those of the girls at the Cheetah III.
Trouble is, I got to really liking the ritual... you know, buying women's skin-care products, sinking into a hot bath and shaving, the cremes and lotions... I began to shave my armpits, just for the heck of it. I kept my facial stubble all-but-invisible.
One day, I came across a stash of makeup leftover from an ex-girlfriend who had halfway moved in. A little eyeliner to bring out my eyes, just a tiny bit of lip gloss for the Bardot look...
Somebody, somewhere, should be saying "uh oh..."
Before too long, I was wearing silk panties under my Nashbar eight-panel shorts, and I occasionally ordered plus sizes from the women's clothing section of the bike catalogs.
Since I had an extremely masculine hairline... as in: already balding at age 24... I waited until Halloween and bought a really nice "Cher" wig from the Sally Beauty Supply Company. Nobody though it was weird... they just figured that I had a costume party to go to.
The ruse was complete. By 1983 I was a full fledged transvestite biker. I'd go on mixed rides sponsored by LBSs in full bikerette drag, and I answered to "Lydia." The guys would all hit on me, the girls looked at me as if I was from some other planet.
It gets worse. I'd dress out in transvestite biker casual clothes and wander into bike shops. Bike wrenches, known for their lack of respect from the opposite sex, would fall all over this muscular young lady who came it to check out this years' machines. None of the guys ever suspected... James, you know who you are!
I began thinking... "Hey, I'm short and thinly built... I'll bet I could pass as a 'she' in a bike race. Hmmmm, I could compete as a woman, and smoke the real ones. This was probably the only way I was ever gonna win a race.
I entered, I competed, I won. And won. And won. By 1987, I had a rep as a seriously fast and powerful biker, who just might be a ****... nobody knew for sure. Then one day on a hilly stage of a race in the Blue Ridge, it happenned... I crashed. Bad. CPR on the scene, life support in the ambulance, multiple surgeries at the hospital.
And every cyclist in four states found out that I was a man. Reputation: torpedoed & sunk. Race career: way beyond over.
Legal problems became serious... It seems that misrepresentation of gender for financial gain is a federal crime.
It took the intervention of the Federal Witness Protection Program (God bless those guys!) and my agreement to turn state's evidence on a huge transvestite & transsexual sports racket... to get me clear of all this trouble. I changed my name, grew a beard, let my leg, chest, back, and 'pit hair grow out... and kept a very low profile.
For years, I didn't dare ride a bike, but I gradually grew brave enough to sneak out at dawn or dusk. Today, I ride dilletante-style comfort bikes, with toe clip pedals and rear parcel racks. I dress macho, too... black & white vans, baggy shorts, and tank tops that show off all that body hair. I make sure that everyone sees that I'm bald.
I ride in the shadows, on the fringe of society, careful not to draw any attention to who I was or what I did. "Lydia" is long gone, and I am nothing without her.
ALL BECAUSE I USED TO SHAVE MY LEGS!!!